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This October is first ever Ohio School Safety Month

While making sure students are safe in schools is always the top priority for districts, it's being highlighted even more for Ohio School Safety Month.

PERRYSBURG, Ohio — This month is the first ever School Safety Month in Ohio after being established earlier this year when Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 583.

Perrysburg superintendent Tom Hosler said this is a positive thing but he also explained it's about more than just signing these bills.

The goal of this month is for schools to increase public awareness of school safety programs and policies. It's no secret safety has been at the forefront of a lot of parents and teachers minds this year, so doing this is an added layer of protection for the students.

Hosler said they focus on looking in the mirror to see what they can be better at in Perrysburg.

The district recently hired a firm to come out and do a safety audit; checking on things like making sure all guests are wearing name tags or seeing how long someone can just wander the halls until they were noticed. 

He explained they've also added a parent component to the district's safety committee, joining the sheriff, as well as the police and fire chief. Hosler said it's all these important leaders in the community coming together.

"And we began to realize the parent component is really important to this because they wanna know what's happening, they have concerns," he said. "It's great we're listening to parents and we're hearing what is it that keeps them up at night about what we do and how can we better respond to that or share with families what we can do."

Hosler explained while there's always that possibility of an active shooter situation, it's more likely they will experience other school safety situations. Things like a tornado, a power outage or a custody battle happening in the office. 

He said every month, they practice safety drills with the students making sure everyone knows the procedures. But he also explained you can pass all kinds of legislations and laws about how to make schools safer but what it comes down to is how the entire community is able to make a difference. 

"It's really all of our responsibilities. It's not the principal, it's not the school resource officer, it really is everybody's responsibility," explained Hosler. "So, if you're a neighbor to a school or you hear something at home and you don't have any kids in the school, this gives us an opportunity to say, 'This is all of our responsibility.'"

The Ohio School Safety Center (OSSC) developed the theme "Know School Safety, Know Your Role – It’s Everyone’s Responsibility" for October's activities.

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